Top five highest-paid UFC fighters from their career salaries in the sport
With the popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championships continuing to grow, along with the event’s lucrative prize money, some of the UFC's biggest stars are among the wealthiest in sport.
Whilst the UFC does not disclose full fighter pay cheques, Way of Martial Arts have been able to look into the pay of the event’s biggest stars to find out who takes away the biggest cut during their career in the Octagon.
The MMA site has therefore looked into the UFC career salary of some of the world’s best fighters to determine who is the highest earner, excluding all other sources of income
From Conor McGregor to Anderson Silva, here are the top five highest-paid fighters from the UFC circuit.
5. Anderson Silva – £6.5 million
In at five is a legend of the UFC Octagon, Silva. Throughout the early 2000’s Silva was one of the championship’s biggest stars, having held the longest title reign in UFC history after being middleweight champion for a record 2,457 days.
However it wasn’t until after he lost his middleweight crown that he began to earn eye-watering amounts, as he collected £450,000 just in appearances fees up until his retirement.
His highest payout came when he picked up £614,000 in 2017 after victory over Derek Brunson at UFC 208.
Do you think Conor McGregor should retire from fighting after his last two defeats? Let us know in the comments section.
4. Andrei Arlovski – £7.4 million
Next up is Andrei Arlovski, who despite not being in his prime in recent years, has still collected a pretty pay package from his fighting career.
The majority of the Pitbull's impressive earnings came early on in his fighting career, with Way of Martial Arts reporting that he collected around £2.25 million, with half of that coming in a 2009 bout with Fedor Emelianenko in 2009.
There is no doubt the legacy of Arlovski’s career helped him earn a nice pay out towards the end of his fighting days, as he collected over £225,000 across his last 10 fights.
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3. Alistair Overeem – £7.6 million
Way of Martial Arts reported that Alistair Overeem’s earnings are more than likely double the £7.6 million stated in this list, if the salary of every bout he has fought outside of the UFC was included.
The majority of Overeem’s impressive fortune came after he signed an eye-watering UFC contract between May 2016 and November 2018.
In that time the London-born fighter featured in seven bouts, where he collected at least £600,000 in each, accumulating to half of his salary during his UFC career.
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov – £11 million
It will be no surprise to many to see Khabib Nurmagomedov’s name on this lucrative list.
The Russian has announced himself as one of the championship’s greatest ever fighters since defeating arch rival McGregor in 2018, and his remarkable recent run has seen him collect a staggering 93% of his career earnings.
His bout with McGregor saw him collect £1.5 million, however he ended up returning £374,000 of this fee back due to initiating a crazy riot after the fight.
Despite this he quickly made it back, picking up a staggering £4.5 million at each of his next two fights against Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.
1. Conor McGregor – £15 million
Last but not least is of course the UFC’s poster boy over recent years, McGregor. Not only does he top this list, but also leads the way as the world’s highest paid sports athlete in 2021, according to Forbes.
The Notorious One is seen to be the man that rocks up more revenue than any other for the championship, with all the fighters that have fought him said to have earned their biggest bout pay cheque.
Way of Martial Arts believe that the £15 million is only a small percentage of his expected fortune, with his pay-per-view earnings not included.
As a result, Mcregor has previously claimed that he earned a whopping £37.4 million from his bout with Nurmagomedov, and an even bigger £59 million from his victory over Donald Cerrone in 2020.
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